In-depth week 7

1. What has been my most difficult mentoring challenge so far?  Why?

The only trouble that I have had with my mentor so far, has been finding times which we can meet. Since we both have busy schedules, it can be a bit of a struggle to dedicate more than an hour at a time to our meetings. To make things easier for Señora Galliford (considering she has a small child) we have been meeting every week if possible, but for shorter periods of time. This also allows me to ask a variety of questions, with responses always within a week away. It has worked pretty well so far.

2. What is working well? Why?

My mentor and I are both super passionate about this topic, and my project. I have been able to fulfill my ambitious time goal (six hours) almost every week. We are learning together, which is also working really well. Although I certainly didn’t request it, if I have a question that Señora Galliford can’t answer, she sometimes writes it down and comes back the next week with her findings (as do I) then we compare our answers and learn. Its really cool to have a mentor equally invested in your project as you are, and just as willing to learn from it.

3. What could be working better?  How can you make sure this happens?

I do find that our meetings occasionally go a bit off topic. Since we have such similar personalities, our Spanish conversations quickly veer off to something else. Ive been trying to notice when this happens, and steer the conversation in the right direction, but it is becoming challenging. Once we get farther into the project, and our meetings are in Spanish, them it won’t matter what our conversations are about, because I will still be learning correct conjugation etc. Until then, I just have to pay more attention to the direction which my words take me, and how I can reroute back to Spanish.

Here is my Status report for how my actual project is going. These take me about an hour to write, and roughly 45 minutes for my mentor and I to edit, which is why I don’t do the entire post in Spanish. However, this week I’ve included a link to a video, of me reading the status report out, (in Spanish).

Status Report:

This week, I completed my second unit of Rosetta Stone. I am working on reflecting on unit two, to see what I have learnt, and what I missed. I’ve been using a workbook, filling it out, then looking for the answers online to check my understanding. I have been watching a TV show which is half in Spanish, half in English. Whenever a Spanish section comes on, I watch it without subtitles, and try to decipher the meaning. When it finishes, I rewatch the segment with subtitles, to ensure my understanding. I also came across a beginners Spanish textbook the other day, which I have been navigating, and using occasionally. It includes some helpful exercises, which I have been using. Since it is a fairly new textbook, it focuses on topics which most others wouldn’t touch. I have learnt how to refer to different communities which are common today, as well as I read the section on “Things you won’t learn in school”. This spiked my interest, so I was lead to Miss. Holly’s youtube video on the same topic. These are interesting, because I will be using my Spanish, mostly in native areas, so pedantic knowledge isn’t always super helpful.

Statuse Reporte en Español:

Está semana, yo completo mi unido segundo de Rosetta Stone. Yo pensando sobre el unido dos y mi trabaja. Yo uso un libro, miro las repuestas online to check my understanding. Veo la television en inglés y español. No veo con subtitles cuando ellos hablan español, y, después veo con subtitles uno tiempo mas. Yo tengo un libro de español y estoy usando mucho. Tiene bien ejercicios, yo uso. Es un libro nuevo. Yo aprendo que hablar sobre comunidades que son regulares hoy. “Itemes su no habla en escuela” es mi favorito. Veo la chanelle de Señora. Holly en la mismo topic. Son interesante por que yo uso mi español en areas de nativo. Mi libro knowledge no está bien aquí.

In-depth week #5

1. What went particularly well during your mentoring sessions?

My mentor, Señora Galliford is really good at understanding the questions which I ask, and knowing exactly where I want to go with them, which is unique from last year. With my last in-depth, a lot more clarifying questions had to be asked, as Slam poetry is more subjective than Spanish. This year our meetings are super efficient, while still informative and enjoyable.

What learning challenges emerged?

a. What did you do to hold yourselves accountable for the learning?

As it goes with new relationships, there is always a period of time designated for adjusting to each other, and getting used to seeing the other person on a regular basis. I wouldn’t say that my mentor and I have experienced any “learning challenges” but more just understanding how the other person works, and trying to alter our own perceptions of the world to fit that. I am very planned and organized, but my mentor likes spontaneity and spur of the moment ideas. As a teacher, Señora Galliford wants to teach me the lessons based on every question I ask, but I’m assuming that as this project progresses more, I will take the reign, and probably just ask for resources and occasional questions. Already I am holding myself accountable in this manner, by going through everything I learn at the meetings, by myself. I come to the next meeting with extension questions to the previous meeting, as well as lists of resources which I have found useful in my continued learning.

4. What logical challenges affected your communication?

  1. What factors affected your ability to interact effectively?

Since Señora Galliford hasn’t spoken Spanish at a higher level, for a number of years, she is worried that she won’t be able to answer a lot of my questions. Because I haven’t gotten to an advanced level yet, she has understood all of my questions, or just needed a quick refresher. However, I will probably be learning higher level concepts which she isn’t super confident with, by the end of the year. Señora Galliford, however is looking forward to the challenge, as she wants to be fluent again, she just hasn’t taught grade eleven and twelve Spanish courses in a long time. I think that learning alongside my mentor is important, so that it is less of a teacher-student relationship. Combined, we both have a lot of external resources who we can look to if need be.

Status Report:

I have been meeting with my mentor every week now, as it is convenient to meet, and I feel that I am gaining a lot from the meetings. By the end of this weekend, I will have finished unit two on Rosetta Stone, on top of some work on Duolingo, and studyspanish.com. I also completed my first Spanish research session this week. I wanted to learn more about the effect that certain Latinos have had on modern culture and media. I did some research on actress, Gina Rodriguez, and learnt a TON. During this weeks meeting, my main question was clarifying the difference between the Spanish words tú, tus, su and sus which as you may have guessed have very similar meanings. The spark notes, is that they all translate to “your” in English, but are used in different contexts, depending on how many items a person has.

Statuse Reporte en Español:

Yo miro mi mentor todo la semana ahora, es facíl y yo feel que yo mucho entonces. La fin de semana, mi “Rosetta Stone” units son finito. Yo estoy estudiando “Duolingo” y “estudiar español . com”. Yo finito mi primera español research projet está semana tambien. Yo quiero entonce mas about Latinos effect que tele y computadora de hoy society. Yo did research que la actriz Gina Rodriguez y entones mas. Está semana, mi primera question es “que es la difference entre words de español, tú, tus, su, y sus?” La mismo en ingles. They mean “your” pero are usar en diferente contexts depending on cuantos itemes un persona tiene.

In-depth, here we go!

Guess what? In depth is starting again! As you may recall, last year I studied the art of SLAM poetry, which left me craving more of this project. Well its back, and for a long time I was unsure of what I wanted to study. I have figured it out, and have decided to study Spanish. Over my Christmas break, I visited the beautiful country of Mexico, and acted as my family’s amateur tour guide. I failed. I thought that my Spanish skills were somewhat proficient, but once the pressure of speaking to people with thick accents, at top speeds, kicked in, I was useless. My conjugation was off, I was slow, and I kept having to ask people to write things down, as I can read better than I can speak. Since I have always wanted to study Spanish in university, and travel once I graduate, I figured that the in-depth project would be the perfect learning environment for the culmination of my language skills. Last year I completed my first year of Spanish in school, and am currently taking intro 11 online. This allows me plenty of resources, to make this project as fun, and stimulating as it was last year. I will probably consult with many Spanish speakers on a regular basis, however, I have found one person who I can call my mentor. Last year, Señora Galliford taught me grade nine Spanish, and I consult her occasionally when I have questions about the Spanish I am learning. I talked to her, and she agreed to be my mentor. She will help me with my pronunciation, speed while speaking Spanish, and she has also agreed to help me write my biweekly blogposts, IN SPANISH! I will have an English translation, (don’t worry non-spanish speakers), but this will help me see the growth that has occurred in my language skills, throughout the course of this project. I also obtained several contacts during my trip, who agreed to help me with the project, by allowing me to phone them occasionally, to practice speaking to a native Spanish speaker. Since I know the stress that these phone calls will provide me, I plan on doing three throughout my project. Speaking will be the focus of this project, as writing is usually easier, but not very useful while travelling. Obviously not much has happened in the means of process so far, as I am just beginning my project. Over the reading break I plan on completing one research session, and ideally one of the units on Rosetta Stone, but that is likely pushing it a bit too far. As for my plans for the project on he whole: I hope to complete two Duolingo sessions every week, since there are seventy in total. That will leave me a few weeks before the final project, to prepare my presentation in the time usually designated to Duolingo. I will also do two grammar lessons every week on studyspanish.com, as they have a similar number of lessons as Duolingo. Altogether, these two forums will amount to approximately an hour a week. However, I would also like to do one unit on Rosetta Stone every two weeks. Each unit requires ten hours or more, so I will have my hands full. I don’t think I will mind putting in six hours a week or more, as this is a project of passion, and I am excited to get started. So, let’s begin the road of conjugation and present participles, and hope that one day fluency is attainable!

Check back in two weeks for an update on how my reading break plans worked out, or didn’t… Wish me luck!

John Maxwell Leadership Lessons

One of the major takeaways for me from the John Maxwell The 360 Degree Leader video sessions, was the “How to be Fulfilled in the Middle of the Pack” lesson. I, as someone with growing leadership skills, like to be recognized for my contributions. Sometimes I do extra work on projects, and tasks, for the intrinsic motivation of recognition. As John says, I need to start “Defin[ing] a win in terms of teamwork” rather than my own work. As I have been learning, delegation should be priority when I become stressed, or overworked, instead of trying to finish everything so that I get the credit. Henrietta Mears says that “The person who keeps busy helping the one who is below him won’t have time to envy the person above him.” In my case, I need to stop worrying about the people who hold the same position as myself (my peers) because of their instant gratification when they do things well, and instead start putting more of my attention on people below me, who’s voices aren’t heard as often. With the Talent Show coming up, this challenge is especially relevant. I will be working with Grade 9’s and 10’s on this project. It is my responsibility to have the grade nines prepared to lead the event next year, which means they have to know their tasks. Unlike most projects, I have to delegate work to the grade nines, and understand that they deserve just as much credit as myself on the night of. This isn’t my project, nor would it be the same if I did it alone. By measuring my successes based on that of my team, the successes will be a lot bigger, and I can have some weight lifted off of my shoulders. The job of the leader isn’t to complete all of the work, but rather know who would do the work best.